Cherry Outlook Sweeter Than Sour: Chinese Demand to Absorb Chilean Export Growth

Global sweet cherry exports increased at a CAGR of 9% over the last ten years. The composition of the main exporters and importers drastically changed in the same period, with Chile becoming the leader in shipments and China leading the consumption. Total planted and bearing area in Chile keeps significantly increasing every year, while Covid-related issues negatively affected sales in China at the back-end of the season during 2020 and 2021. Despite the market disruptions, cherries are the new MVP of Chilean fresh fruit exports (USD 1.9bn). Although Chilean sweet cherry shipments remain concentrated to China (91%), other markets present attractive alternatives to explore. A positive outlook is expected for the new season, when our estimates indicate that, despite the increased volume expected for Chilean sweet cherry exports to China, the wholesale prices in this market will not decrease in 2021/22.